Is the Financial Education Taught in School Enough or Should Parents do more?

There have been ongoing changes to the financial education taught in schools. The maths curriculum has taught ‘money maths’ for a very long time so children understand about coinage and notes and can work out how much change they might get when they purchase things and if there is a discount, how much money they will save. However, there have recently been calls for more financial education to be put on the national curriculum in secondary schools, with particular reference to debts and budgeting. While this has been incorporated and some schools have even received free financial textbooks to teach from, would this be considered to be enough or should parents be complimenting the teaching with teaching themselves?

Views For

For some children,  could be the only financial education that they get as at home their parents do not think to tech them or are not good at handling money themselves. Knowing more about finances is certainly better than not knowing at all. Having an understanding of maths and purchase decisions will help when buying things. Also being taught about debt can help with future decisions.

The school curriculum is currently packed and so finding room in for anything else can be very difficult and put strain on teachers and possibly students too. Therefore, it could be argued that what is done in schools is comprehensive and useful and considering what else is taught is enough for children to handle.

Views Against

Others could argue that what is covered in school is not enough and therefore parents should teach them as well. Some parents would feel that it is the responsibility of the school to teach their children, but parents need to take some responsibility too. School do not teach them to walk or talk and parents do that so there is plenty of scope for them to teach children other things as well. All parents have to handle money and whether they do it well or badly they will still have valuable things to teach their children, even if it is to tell them what not to do.

Parents can be forgiven for thinking that they do not have the knowledge to teach their children this. However, all parents have experience of using money. They buy things, pay bills and things like that and so have some ideas of how to handle money and so will all have some knowledge to pass on. Their knowledge will be more personal and could affect the children more directly and so they may learn more form it because it will be more relevant to them. For example, if a parent cannot afford for the children to go on a school trip, they can explain to them where there money has gone with regards to what bills they had to pay for and the food they bought etc so the child can understand.

It could be argued that it is always good for parents to cement things that children are learning in school anyway. When it comes to life lessons like this, as opposed to gaining knowledge, then this could apply even more. Parents may be tempted to feel that schools are not teaching their children enough but it is just up to the school to do so. However, issues like this have never traditionally been taught in schools. Although it is great that schools are taking responsibility for teaching on issues like this, as it is very important that everyone has a good understanding of finance, it is also up to parents to make sure that children not only understand what was taught but also the importance of it. They will also be able to back it up by relaying their own experiences.

It is important to realise that teenagers may be less inclined to listen to their parents than younger children. However, much of the information is given to teenagers and so it could be wise for parents to start the conversation with their children when they are much younger and hopefully when they are teenagers, they might be prepared to discuss it some more. It is also wise for parents to do their best to lead by example. This is not always that easy but if parents are being unwise then it is worth them having a conversation with their children about the mistakes that they think they are making and how they would have done things differently if they could have. It can all be a learning experience and such an important one. It can be felt to be embarrassing by some parents if they feel they are making mistakes or not setting a good example, but if they can have an honest conversation about it then it could prevent their children making the same mistakes and they can learn from it.